Breaking News


This is a very timely post!

Do go ahead and read....We don't have any preamble to preambulate around!



This is a simple question that will determine where many Christians will spend eternity.
Unless our reflection is deep, and illuminated by the Holy Spirit of God, many will rush to answer a resounding ‘YES!’ to the question of being born again, without considering the more important aspect of the question – ‘born again’ into what? For indeed, many have been born again INTO CHURCH, and have never been born again INTO CHRIST.

The two may sound similar, but in the context of today’s Christianity, they may actually be worlds apart. And so, it is what we have been ‘born again’ into that will determine our eternal destiny.
To be born again INTO CHURCH is simply to be born into the religious system that looks like Christianity, and has been on the ascendancy in the world in the past few decades. To many people, this religious system looks so much like the genuine faith in Jesus Christ. The two use the same Holy Book – The Bible. The two use a lot of similar terminologies – Holy Spirit, Prayer, Grace, Evangelism, Speaking in Tongues, Brothers and Sisters, Rapture, etc.

Ironically, what marks the greatest difference between the two is the symbol of the faith – THE CROSS! Whereas the cross sits firmly at the heart and soul of genuine Christianity, it is a de-boned and bejewelled option in the popular, fake version of Christianity. The version that is popular and thriving all over the world today. The version that most popular denominations brandish in a bid to tantalise diverse crowds into their pews in large numbers.

The main casualty of this brand of fake Christianity is the Cross of Christ. For of a truth, the Cross of Christ is an inconvenience to the carnal heart. It is an emblem of self-denial, an emblem of pain, an emblem of shame. Yet, it is this same cross that Jesus plants firmly at the heart of followership. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and TAKE UP HIS CROSS, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)

What the cross does, and why most of us find it inconvenient, is that it crosses out our will, and substitutes it with the will of the Lord. In theory, this seems straight forward enough, but the challenge is in the practical application. This practical application of the cross is the reason that the rich, young ruler in Matthew 19:16-22 could not follow Jesus (though he loved God and had kept all the commandments from his youth). Please note that the Bible made it clear that Jesus also LOVED HIM (Mark 10:21). Yet, he went away from Jesus because he couldn’t pay the price of followership.
In its ruggedness and jaggedness, the cross seeks to strip us of the very essence of our lives – our personality, our preferences, our perspectives, our peculiarities, our proclivities, our predilection, EVERYTHING. And in exchange for our lives, the cross offers us the life of Christ – a life that makes no sense to the world that we live in. A life that the world we live in actually hates. “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18). How many are genuinely ready to have a life that the world actively hates?

This is why a man that has not come to the end of himself (or is willing to come to the end of himself) cannot be TRULY born again. Before we can truly appreciate the life of Christ, and become born again, the Holy Spirit of God needs to FIRST open our eyes to our ‘emptiness and woes’. This is what it means to be born of the Spirit. It is a deep spiritual work that is initiated by God’s Holy Spirit through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the heart of sinful man. Without going through this crisis, we cannot TRULY become born again.

But to entice the crowd into its pew, the Church of today has little or no place for this deep work of the Spirit (fuelled in the place of deep intercession). The Church brings in people as they are (no problem with this), and then proceeds to keep them largely as they are – with a few improvements here and there to give a veneer of spirituality.

But Christianity is much more than this. Christianity is radical; a revolution. Christianity shakes a man to the root of his life until that life bows and drops in death. “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25). How many people are genuinely willing to die to self today in a world that enticingly promotes and glorifies SELF. “You are worth it!” is the telling strapline of a popular cosmetics brand. In truth, no man is worth anything! It is the Christ in us that gives us the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). And Christ and self will not quietly co-habit in the same vessel.

Wherever there is DEMAND, the law of economics states that there must be SUPPLY to balance the equation. And so, the Church of today is abundantly supplying us with the framework to live our lives the way we like, while claiming to follow Christ. The Church of today would have gladly met and embraced the rich, young ruler as he headed home sorrowfully after his encounter with Jesus. Instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to perfect a deep work of conviction that may lead to his repentance, the Church of today would have given him a false sense of hope in following Jesus without ‘selling his all’ as Christ demanded. As long as he continued to give tithes and offering, he would have been given a place on the Pastoral Team, and he would have become the envy of other money-pursuing members of the church! Unconditional followership!

This is how spiritual destinies are being aborted and destroyed today by most of the religious systems we call Church. Please, friends, DO NOT become a victim of this system.

Becoming Christ-like, as a consequence of following Him, is progressive. We will never get there overnight because it is a pursuit. But it is a pursuit that is both intensive and consuming. And everybody that is being ‘consumed’ in this pursuit will definitely know they are in the pursuit. They will know it in the place of agonising prayer to become more like Christ. They will know it in the meditative place of the study of The Word. They will know it in the place of the cross, and in suffering for His name in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.

If that is not you, friend, please pause and ask yourself if you were actually born again INTO CHURCH, or INTO CHRIST. Some were indeed born into Christ at the beginning, but have been drawn away from their steadfastness (2 Peter 3:17) by the spirit of compromise that pervades the modern Church. "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves...." (2 Corinthians 13:5a ESV). This is the wise counsel of an Apostle of Christ that had traversed this journey himself. This Apostle triumphed because He constantly kept his eyes on Jesus (the author and finisher of our faith), not on the shifting sand of religiosity.

The Author of our faith is also a trust-worthy Finisher – IF we follow Him to the end (Hebrews 3:6,14). To follow Him, we need to carry our cross DAILY. To carry our cross DAILY, we need to deny SELF; to die to the flesh by walking in the Spirit. Being transformed daily as we become strangers in the world, and the world becomes alien to us.

But it all starts with the first right step – being born into Christ, not just into Church. Sadly, it is only on the last day that many will discover that they were born into Church, and never into Christ. On that day, the words of Christ to them will be, “I NEVER KNEW YOU….” (Matthew 7:21-23; Matthew 25:12). PLEASE DO NOT BE ONE OF THEM! Please realise that it is possible to be in Church, and NOT be in Christ. HELL IS REAL! Please examine yourself and begin to make amends where necessary as led by the Spirit of God. And the time to start is TODAY. For some, tomorrow may indeed be too late.

Let us end with a word of prayer. O Lord, please take our feeble hands, and establish our feet in The Way. Please open our eyes to Jesus Christ ANEW. Please perfect the good pleasure of your will in our lives, so that at the end, all glory and honour may come to your most holy name. Have mercy upon us, O Lord, for thine is the Kingdom, forever and ever. Amen!
Thanks for reading, God bless.





FOLLOW US ON TWITTER ::: @360gospel

1 comment: